Twitter Misinformation Policy ExampleSource: Twitter

What you need to know

  • Twitter has introduced a new crisis misinformation policy to control the spread of fake news.
  • Twitter calls out the war in Ukraine as an example of where this would be used. -. Misinformation and its wildfire-like spread is something that Twitter has been battling with for years.

Twitter has outlined a new crisis misinformation policy that is designed to make sure that fake news and misinformation don't spread via the social network during important events.

While Twitter already has policies in place for the spread of misinformation, this latest one appears to be specifically related to crises.

Today, we're introducing our crisis misinformation policy – a global policy that will guide our efforts to elevate credible, authoritative information, and will help to ensure viral misinformation isn't amplified or recommended by us during crises. In times of crisis, misleading information can undermine public trust and cause further harm to already vulnerable communities.

The new policy was outlined in a Twitter blog post and appears related to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Many of the examples relate to wars and such, with Twitter saying that some examples of tweets that fall foul of its policy being those that include false allegations of the use of weapons, for example.

Some examples of Tweets that we may add a warning notice to include:

  • False coverage or event reporting, or information that mischaracterizes conditions on the ground as a conflict evolves;
  • False allegations regarding use of force, incursions on territorial sovereignty, or around the use of weapons;
  • Demonstrably false or misleading allegations of war crimes or mass atrocities against specific populations;
  • False information regarding international community response, sanctions, defensive actions, or humanitarian operations.

When a tweet is flagged as potentially being misinformation it will be placed behind a warning message that will require readers to click through if they want to see the content — an example of the warning is at the top of this page.

Twitter also says that it will "plan to update and expand the policy to include additional forms of crisis" as times move on.

Accusations of allowing misinformation to spread have long been leveled at Twitter and it will be interesting to see how a policy like this will jive with prospective new owner Elon Musk's talk of allowing more "free speech" on the platform.

It's likely this will all only affect people using the Twitter web and mobile apps, of course. Those using third-party apps may not benefit from these protections — a concern considering many would argue against the official Twitter app being the best iPhone app for actually using Twitter.